The last few years have been full of entertainment featuring people stuck in time loops, from the horror of Happy Death Day, to the charming comedy of last year’s Palm Springs and 2019’s Russian Doll. Picking up on this trend is Boss Level, a new film starring Frank Grillo, in which the action star is trapped in the same day over and over by his enemy, naturally played by Mel Gibson.
In Boss Level, Frank Grillo plays Roy Pulver, a retired special forces soldier, who is stuck in a program that traps him in a time loop, which ends whenever he dies. As this first trailer shows, Roy faces all sorts of enemies, from sword-wielding women who decapitate him, to explosives experts ready to blow Roy into a million pieces. Roy has been put in this situation by Colonel Clive Ventor – played by Mel Gibson – and now Roy needs to get out and save his ex-wife Jemma, played by Naomi Watts.
Thankfully, being able to relive the same day over and over means that Roy can prepare for the fights he’s undergone in this seemingly endless loop. Roy can train and best those who want to kill him, save Jemma, and stop Mel Gibson’s Colonel Ventor, so he can get out of this unending loop of death.
Boss Level is written and directed by Joe Carnahan, who has experience in these types of free-for-all action films. In 2006, he made Smokin’ Aces, a film which pitted Ben Affleck, Ryan Reynolds, Chris Pine, and Taraji P. Henson, amongst others, against each other in a bullet-fueled action film. Carnahan was also responsible for the 2010 reboot of The A-Team, with Liam Neeson and Bradley Cooper, which also went for big, crazy action. But Carnahan is also capable of smaller introspective thrillers, like 2002’s Narc and 2011’s The Grey. However, with a bearded villain played by Mel Gibson and insane action set pieces, this looks to be a Carnahan film of the more extreme variety.
Boss Level has been in development for quite some time, as Joe Carnahan originally started developing the film, then known as Continue, back in 2012. Joe Grillo joined on as producer and Mel Gibson signed on to star in 2017, and the newly titled Boss Level wrapped filming in 2018. The film was originally planned to release on August 16, 2019, but was delayed.
In addition to Frank Grillo, Mel Gibson, and Naomi Watts, Boss Level also features Will Sasso, Ken Jeong, Michelle Yeoh, Annabelle Wallis, and Selina Lo. The film was purchased by Hulu for an undisclosed eight-figure deal for U.S. distribution. Hulu also similarly paid a high price for another time loop film last year – Palm Springs – which became the highest amount paid for a film at Sundance. Hulu clearly has an investment in releasing these types of Groundhog Day homages, whether comedic, or full of ridiculous action. Watch Mel Gibson and Frank Grillo face off against each other in Boss Level, scheduled for release on March 5, 2021 on Hulu.